Links of the week
BBC: Reading Arabic 'hard for brain' (reading Arabic requires a different brain configuration than other languages)
Ecclectica: One more reason to default (Present day debt as a tax on future generations)
BBC: Syrian four-year drought triggers rural exodus
The World Food Programme (WFP) has started to distribute food to more than 200,000 people and the Red Cross has funded water deliveries.
The UN estimates around 800,000 people have left their homes.
The New York Times: Does Your Language Shape How You Think? This article quite shocked me by the connection between language and sense of direction.
Sublime Oblivion: on Middle East Geopolitics, Afghanistan and Iran & the Bomb (I am commenting as NB)
Distressed Volatility: The Age of Gas Begins in Earnest
Major new energy issues are about to transform still further the strategic balance of the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, with foreseeable consequences for the global energy market over the coming decade. Soon-to-be-evident new wealth in the Red Sea/Horn of Africa region will transform the intensity of conflict there, which in turn will affect not only the region, but the world’s most important trading route: the Red Sea/Suez sea line of communication (SLOC).
Much of the anticipated change is developing around the flood of new discoveries and exploitation of natural gas fields in the Indian Ocean region, particularly extending through Ethiopia, Egypt, and other countries of the Red Sea region. Apart from the impending influx of new energy wealth into the region, facilitating new levels of confidence and capability in the security environment, the boom of the “Gas Age” also seems set to promise — within a decade — an oversupply of gas to the world market, almost certainly precipitating a collapse in price for gas and petroleum.
Martin Wolf: The political genius of supply-side economics
In this way, the Republicans were transformed from a balanced-budget party to a tax-cutting party. This innovative stance proved highly politically effective, consistently putting the Democrats at a political disadvantage. It also made the Republicans de facto Keynesians in a de facto Keynesian nation. Whatever the rhetoric, I have long considered the US the advanced world’s most Keynesian nation – the one in which government (including the Federal Reserve) is most expected to generate healthy demand at all times, largely because jobs are, in the US, the only safety net for those of working age.
Thomas Friedman: Steal This Movie
These people are not in majority, but they are a sizable minority and their influence in political and cultural circles of the developed nations exceeds their numbers. Israelis who are interested in squaring themselves with the sane part of their support base in the West, should read this piece and pay attention. You don't have to agree, but this is as lucid exposition of what these people think about us as you can get.
Sublime Oblivion: Russia Burning: not Apocalypse, but its Prelude
LA Times: Yemen smolders amid Houthi insurgency and Al Qaeda attacks
"In that area war is a way of life," said Abdul-Ghani Iryani, a political analyst. "It's not a breakdown of the system, it is the system."
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